Epiroc has been hard at work supporting numerous deserving Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives (CSR) throughout 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact the lockdown encouraged the Epiroc team to do even more.
“Epiroc is a company that is concerned about societal challenges and we walk the talk by getting involved in worthy programmes and offering sustainable solutions,” affirms Epiroc South Africa’s CSR manager, Judy Vilakazi.
Education, welfare, diversity
At the beginning of the year, Epiroc donated and handed over sanitary pads and 100 pairs of school shoes to learners at Bekekayo Farm School in Benoni on Johannesburg’s East Rand. “We decided to kick off our 2020 programme with a school initiative because it perfectly aligns with our CSR focus areas of education, welfare and diversity,” explains Vilakazi.
Q1 2020 also saw Epiroc employees supporting CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa), by wearing flip-flops and selling CHOC stickers as part of the Foundation’s awareness drive about childhood cancer and other life threatening diseases. In addition to the proceeds raised, Epiroc also made a donation towards CHOC’s home programme.
On 26 March, undaunted by the fact that the initial Level 5 lockdown was but a few hours away, Vilakazi and her team were still hard at work delivering disinfectants and hand sanitisers. “We supported small business by purchasing the products from a local female entrepreneur and started our journey at Vita Nova, a residential facility that has been caring for over 100 disabled residents for more than 40 years. Driving around with Kwathema’s local ward councillor, we also managed to drop disinfectants and sanitisers to the Children’s Home and Old Age Home in the area.”
Appreciation for frontline workers
The team’s last stop was two clinics in Kwathema where they handed out hand sanitisers and disinfectant to health workers as a token of appreciation for these frontline workers who put their own lives at risk in helping others.
“We made a concerted effort to look out for and support COVID-19 initiatives and in so doing, play our part, however small, in helping to save the lives of our people,” says Vilakazi. Part of Epiroc’s COVID drive saw the donation of funds by the social development funding organisation, Tirisano Trust, to the South African Medical & Education Foundation (SAME). This was in response to the Department of Health’s mobilisation of private companies to assist with funding for additional hospital beds to accommodate potential COVID-19 patients.
During the initial lockdown period, Epiroc supported Government by donating money towards the printing of educational pamphlets that shared important information on COVID-19 in the country’s 11 official languages.
In July Epiroc joined hands with NGO, ACFS (Community Education & Feeding Scheme), supporting the Tsakane teenage girls’ programme through the donation of Palesa sanitary pads. “We decided to embrace this initiative because the programme creates awareness of well-being specific to women and shares health education on for example reproductive organs, the menstrual cycle, etc. with the teenage girls,” adds Vilakazi.
Epiroc assisted schools in Limpopo through Water for All, an employee driven initiative that finances the installation of infrastructure and facilities that promote accessibility to clean, potable water for disadvantaged communities in rural areas.
Staying in Limpopo, other ongoing initiatives that are keeping the Epiroc team busy include the renovation of a rehabilitation centre as well as old age home in Limpopo. Judy explains that the old age home, based in Makopane, is non-compliant due to overcrowding and is therefore not eligible for the much-needed social development grant. Epiroc donated Wendy houses which are being erected on adjoining land to provide additional accommodation and help separate the elderly residents. “Once construction has been completed the home will re-apply for the grant and we sincerely hope that they will be successful.”
“We are undertaking these initiatives in partnership with some of our mining customers in the Limpopo region,” says Vilakazi. “We believe that sustainable CSR initiatives present a three-way win, benefitting first and foremost the beneficiaries but also the participating companies and employees. The need out there is just so great and we therefore encourage our customers to get involved with their communities and embrace deserving causes. By joining forces and putting our collective thoughts and purse-strings together, we can achieve so much more!”